They had got be kidding.
Prof was my last resort to solving the Lopound puzzle and they said he was murdered,just like that?
"Liars! I was this close!" I yelled and sobbed uncontrollably. My hands reached for the piggy bank souvenir and tossed it against the mirror. I hated life for making things tough for me.
I hated myself for abandoning an important mission to embrace bottles. Bottles of stupid liquid that left your pockets empty and your head heavy with a migraine. I just had to get to the police station.
Stone cold! That was the description of Prof's corpse at the morgue, the murderers carted away all we had worked on. I had to start afresh. But with who? Who would I trust enough to spill out such information to? I had so much going on for me.... Perhaps I should tell mama but her health was at stake, stories like this could aggravate her health condition.
I was alone and scared.
My annual leave ended when I actually needed it most. When the madness around me had grown fangs and claws.
I walked into the building that I had left for a month. Nothing had changed. I shared banters with few colleagues and headed for my duty post. Ochuko trailed me at a brisk pace.
"Oh boy! You no know say meeting dey for conference room", he asked in his thick warri accent.
Being absent from a general meeting attracted deduction from your salary. I hurried to the conference room. It was a good thing that the meeting had not commenced.
The director presided over the meeting. "Its an honour to have the secretary general of the UWO in our midst in person of Mr Clifford Oppong", he announced. It was a surprise that the Secretary General flew into the country for an ordinary meeting like our's. Mr Oppong stood up to acknowledge the cheers and applaud.
"It feels good to be here where I started this journey. Having laid down forty active years in service, I must say that you are all family. I am happy to be here", Mr Oppong expressed himself.
He was revered and admired as a demigod. His power of oratory was likened to that of Zeus by some global intellectuals.
He stood up and adjusted his polka dot tie. The black suit shone like bitumen. He cleared his throat,
"I am elated to be here today and of course you know when I visit regional quarters there is always a tendency that someone will get a promotion for our selfless service to humanity", he reminded us. He stepped aside from the podium to whisper into the ears of the DG who sat behind him then returned back to his initial position.
"Omoregie Efe, Ibe Jane, Tajudeen Lateef, Usman Sani, please come up to the stage",he said with an air of calmness. Applaud and whistling erupted in the room.
I watched Jackson closely. He was five seats away from where we sat. The conference room was a bit chilly yet he was sweating. I saw him wipe his face a couple of times with a white handkerchief and walked out of the meeting room.
The recipients of the various awards mounted the podium. They grinned from ear to ear. Efe was not supposed to be there. The sight of him being among the award recipient made my belly churn.
Mr oppong smiled,"These are men who have distinguished themselves in their various department, before we proceed let the projector operator show us a clip", he said holding the microphone and tilting his head to the left.
The guy handling the projector moved in swift movement to do as he was told.
Eye-service! Perhaps it now that he intended gaining his own award?
Soon the white board showed a beam of light and a video clip began to play. A man dressed in a black mask entered a very familiar room. He rummaged through files on a long mahogany table then an older man walked in. The masked man held a gun to the older man's head,he collected some files and shot him. Was it a dream? The older man was Prof and this was his office.
He opened a laptop but it seemed he was having difficulties with operating it. He yanked the mask off his head to view well into the screen. The camera zoomed in to reveal Efe.